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Boy Scout leader is honored

September 06, 2005|by Alicia Notarianni

HAGERSTOWN

alician@herald-mail.com

While serving as a Scoutmaster at a leadership camp in the late 1970s, Hagerstown resident Jerry Hoak was inspired.

"I saw boys become young men in a week's time. That stayed with me," Hoak said.

Hoak went on to become president of the Mason-Dixon Council of Boy Scouts of America and today, at 72, he continues to serve the group as a member of the executive board of directors.

On Aug. 31, at the Four Points Sheraton on Dual Highway, the Mason-Dixon Council presented Hoak with the distinguished citizen award for his 44 years of service. About 50 people attended the reception.

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Council President Bill Mann, 57, of Frederick, Md., said the award honors individuals who make outstanding contributions to the Boy Scouts of America and to the community.

"We want to recognize Jerry for his longevity, for his longtime support of Scouting and for his enthusiasm," Mann said. "He's given of time, talent and treasure consistently over the years, and he's been an active civic leader and businessman for most of his adult life."

Dr. Jeffrey Rubino, 43, of Hagerstown, participated in a Boy Scout leadership training program when Hoak was a leader. Rubino said Hoak has motivated and influenced numerous young men throughout the years.

"Jerry teaches the idea that you should shoot for the moon. You might not get there, but you will reach higher than you would have," Rubino said. "He's just one of those guys who inspires people to go for their dreams."

Dale Lambert, 70, of Maugansville, serves on the Mason-Dixon Council's executive board with Hoak.

"Jerry has been supportive to bringing not only good programs, but financial resources as well," Lambert said. "I guess you could say he's a go-to guy."

Walter Bell, a former colleague of Hoak's, traveled from Salisbury, Md., to attend the reception. Bell said it seemed fitting for Hoak to receive an award for outstanding service.

"Whatever he sets his heart on, he works hard to make it happen and does it well," Bell said.

Hoak said he sees Scouting as "worthwhile, valuable and relevant."

"The character building, leadership, patriotism - it's more important than ever," Hoak said.

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